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I've just purchased a server rack to use in my house in order to organize my handful of home servers (eg. file server, vm server, router, etc).

The rack is a used HP 33U: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/sys/1786562291.html

I have a couple of questions...

1) Is the powerstrip and fans typically at the back or front of the rack? What about the door? When I picked up this cabinet, the door was attached to the same side of the rack as the outlets and fans. This seems like the back of the cabinet but that doesn't make any sense to me.

2) Is the on/off switch typically located at the front or back of the cabinet?

3) How do I attach my rack mount servers to this? This rack came with a couple sets of "rails" but I don't know what I'm doing.

For example, do I place my servers on top of the rails like this:


...or do I place them "inside" the rails like this:


If I place the server "inside" the rails it can't go back all the way and it's a super tight fit. Take a look at the gap between the server and the rack here:


4) What if I didn't have these "rails"? How would I attach the server to the rack? The rack is much deeper than my servers are.

Here are more pictures of the rack: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jklimek...7624240493593/
 

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1. Power bars are usually located on the back of the cabinet. Check to see if you can swap the door to the other side of the cabinet, most racks are universal.

2. Back side.

3. & 4. Those rails did not come with you servers. looks like they came with the rack. Rack mount servers come with there own rails and the cabinet comes with thumb bolts and threaded U clips. Since it is a second hand purchase you might not have recieved all the hardware. You can substitute with nuts and bolts from you local hardware store.
 

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Thanks for the reply!

I'm just a little confused because the rack only came with one door and it was mounted on the same side as the fans and powerstrip. Should I keep it and leave the front open or move the door to the front?

Also, you are correct that the rails came with the rack. However, I've purchased three server rack mount cases from NewEgg and I only received the cases. Do I need to purchase rails for each server case I purchased? (please say no; that's seems extremely expensive for this side-project of mine)
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sofakng View Post
Thanks for the reply!

I'm just a little confused because the rack only came with one door and it was mounted on the same side as the fans and powerstrip. Should I keep it and leave the front open or move the door to the front?

Also, you are correct that the rails came with the rack. However, I've purchased three server rack mount cases from NewEgg and I only received the cases. Do I need to purchase rails for each server case I purchased? (please say no; that's seems extremely expensive for this side-project of mine)
Can't say exactly about the racks that you bought. All the ones that I've bought / worked with had the one door on the front, and then two side panels that could be detached, but otherwise cover both sides. I've also had a fan-exhaust unit that was mounted as the top-cover to the rack, though that's usually a luxury of slightly more expensive racks.

Whether or not you keep the door is up to you. It's not usually required, and is usually just another physical deterrent against unauthorized access to the servers.

Rails are (1) server-specific and (2) rack-specific. Again, I can't say for sure about your servers, but I do know that Dell rackmount servers have two or three options for rail-kits...

Unfortunately, rackmount configuration is always going to carry a premium over tower-configurations. Just the way things are. Pay a bit more to save some space...
 

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As everyone has said, rackmount systems are pretty custom - you can have 1, 2 or no doors, depending on your setup. If you want to stop people nicking drives or hitting reset buttons as they walk past, buy a front door. If you need to stop people pulling a power cable out, buy a back door. Side panels are mainly for show, although can help airflow over things like UPSes at the bottom of the rack if you have top mounted fans and solid doors.

Where you put the power etc is up to you - after all, I assume you are the only one going to be using it. Because that is where one of the benefits of racks comes in - you can set them up pretty much how you like...
 
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